Unknown Shooter Blinds Sea Lion

By Matt Baume
|  Tuesday, Dec 28, 2010  |  Updated 3:30 PM PDT
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Unknown Shooter Blinds Sea Lion

Remember the sea lion that crossed the road-- and hid under a cop car?

Officials continue to search for the person who blinded a sea lion last month.

The 6-year-old animal was shot in the face by someone in Sausalito, and spent several days with serious head wounds before authorities caught him and gave him emergency surgery.

Named Silent Knight, his prognosis is favorable, but he'll never see again. Although sight is important for sea lions, it's not as important for them as it is for humans. The marine mammals rely on other senses to catch food and maneuver, so he could live a long happy live in a zoo or sanctuary.

The Marine Mammal Center, which performed the surgery, is now trying to find him a permanent home. If none can be found, it's possible that they might have to euthanize him.

This isn't the first time that a sea lion has been a gunshot victim in the area. Nearly a dozen other sea lions have been treated for gunshot wounds this year. Nearly two dozen were treated the year before that.

Last year, a fisherman was apprehended after shooting a sea lion in the head. The man was angry that the animal had been taking fish from his nets.

Authorities are no closer to finding Silent Knight's culprit, but they did recover bullet remnants from the animal that could be used as evidence.

There are also no leads in the mysterious abuse of gulls around San Francisco. In that case, someone slipped metal rings around the birds' throats, which will eventually kill them.

Causing harm to sea lions or gulls are federal crimes.

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